FRANKFURT -- Mercedes-Benz is on track to pass rival BMW Group's core brand to retain the title of the world's largest premium brand this year, sales figures for November released today show.
November sales of BMW-brand cars were up 5.9 percent to 177,740, taking its 11-month volume to 1.82 million, a rise of 5.6 percent. By contrast, Mercedes' passenger-car sales were up 13 percent to 182,602, increasing year-to-date sales to 1.89 million, a rise of 12 percent.
Barring a huge sales surge by BMW brand in the final month of the year, Mercedes brand will recapture the title it lost to it Munich-based rival in 2005.
BMW made it 11 consecutive years at the world's top-selling premium brand with sales of 1.91 million vehicles in 2015. Last year Mercedes sold 1.87 million cars to rank second in the sales race with Volkswagen Group's Audi brand in third place with 1.80 million deliveries.
Audi sold 154,050 cars last month, a rise of 4.3 percent on November last year. That pushed Audi's 11-month sales to 1.71 million, a rise of 4.2 percent on the same period last year, leaving it likely to finish 2016 at No. 3 in the premium brand sales race.